This paper shows the results of chemical and crystallographic analyses carried out on a core drilled within the frontal pan of the Foscagno rock glacier in the Italian Alps. We use 58 vertical thin sections spaced along the massive ice core, found between depths of 2.5 and 7.65 m, to describe the ice fabric of the core. We also discuss the results of chemical analyses of more than 50 samples. The lower part of the massive ice core between 4 and 7.65 In shows a mean crystal size of 1.5 cm and a crystal shape predominantly elongated along the horizontal plane with c-axes. These characteristics are similar to those of firn ice. In contrast, the upper core between 2.5 and 4 m displays vertical elongation of large bubbles, indicating superimposed ice and the influence of melting and refreezing processes. The presence of a seasonal signal in sulfate distribution and the strong correlation between sodium and chloride in the lower part of the core confirm cold firnification without appreciable phase changes. This well-preserved glacier ice body is probably younger than 2200 +/- 60 yr B.P., a minimum age for the rock glacier as indicated by the C-14 age of a buried paleosoil, although the possibility that it may be older age cannot be excluded. The glacier ice body seems to be a relict of a former glacier preserved within a larger permafrost body that characterizes almost all of the rock glacier and also occurs beneath the massive ice. This finding points out that different types of ice can be preserved within a single rock glacier, reflecting a complex geological and paleoclimatic history.

This paper shows the results of chemical and crystallographic analyses carried out on a core drilled within the frontal pan of the Foscagno rock glacier in the Italian Alps. We use 58 vertical thin sections spaced along the massive ice core, found between depths of 2.5 and 7.65 m, to describe the ice fabric of the core. We also discuss the results of chemical analyses of more than 50 samples. The lower part of the massive ice core between 4 and 7.65 In shows a mean crystal size of 1.5 cm and a crystal shape predominantly elongated along the horizontal plane with c-axes. These characteristics are similar to those of firn ice. In contrast, the upper core between 2.5 and 4 m displays vertical elongation of large bubbles, indicating superimposed ice and the influence of melting and refreezing processes. The presence of a seasonal signal in sulfate distribution and the strong correlation between sodium and chloride in the lower part of the core confirm cold firnification without appreciable phase changes. This well-preserved glacier ice body is probably younger than 2200 +/- 60 yr B.P., a minimum age for the rock glacier as indicated by the C-14 age of a buried paleosoil, although the possibility that it may be older age cannot be excluded. The glacier ice body seems to be a relict of a former glacier preserved within a larger permafrost body that characterizes almost all of the rock glacier and also occurs beneath the massive ice. This finding points out that different types of ice can be preserved within a single rock glacier, reflecting a complex geological and paleoclimatic history.

An old relict glacier body preserved in permafrost environment: The Foscagno rock glacier ice core (Upper Valtellina, Italian central Alps)

GUGLIELMIN, MAURO;
2004

Abstract

This paper shows the results of chemical and crystallographic analyses carried out on a core drilled within the frontal pan of the Foscagno rock glacier in the Italian Alps. We use 58 vertical thin sections spaced along the massive ice core, found between depths of 2.5 and 7.65 m, to describe the ice fabric of the core. We also discuss the results of chemical analyses of more than 50 samples. The lower part of the massive ice core between 4 and 7.65 In shows a mean crystal size of 1.5 cm and a crystal shape predominantly elongated along the horizontal plane with c-axes. These characteristics are similar to those of firn ice. In contrast, the upper core between 2.5 and 4 m displays vertical elongation of large bubbles, indicating superimposed ice and the influence of melting and refreezing processes. The presence of a seasonal signal in sulfate distribution and the strong correlation between sodium and chloride in the lower part of the core confirm cold firnification without appreciable phase changes. This well-preserved glacier ice body is probably younger than 2200 +/- 60 yr B.P., a minimum age for the rock glacier as indicated by the C-14 age of a buried paleosoil, although the possibility that it may be older age cannot be excluded. The glacier ice body seems to be a relict of a former glacier preserved within a larger permafrost body that characterizes almost all of the rock glacier and also occurs beneath the massive ice. This finding points out that different types of ice can be preserved within a single rock glacier, reflecting a complex geological and paleoclimatic history.
ALPINE GLACIER; DEPOSITION; EVOLUTION; HOLOCENE; NITRATE; RECORD; AGE
Guglielmin, Mauro; Camusso, M; Polesello, S; Valsecchi, S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11383/1491911
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